Clients always want their work done as quickly as possible. Preferably yesterday. And not just because the longer you spend on a job the more it’s going to cost them but because they have deadlines to hit too.
Time is money. And that’s especially true if you freelance. If you’re slow out the blocks that big fish you were hoping to land will be bagged by someone else and the job you your were hoping to pitch for goes to a rival before you even get to present your ideas.
In today’s world, everything is instant. Designs are approved, ideas are shared and work is fired off for feedback with the click of a button. So with time being of the essence, let’s not waste another second and run through a few tools to help you speed up your work.
Here are my top seven awesome apps for freelancers that’ll help you make light work of your day’s more mundane tasks – freeing you up to get on with that snazzy logo or snappy headline and stay ahead of the freelancing pack.
First on my list is Solo, an online project management app for creative freelancers. I use it every day to plan projects, track my hours and speed up my paperwork. It looks great, is a joy to use and is at the heart of everything I do.
It’s unique auto-creation means you’re not wasting time setting up projects, populating fields and creating contacts. It automates a lot of your invoicing and paperwork too. Solo’s a real time-saver and you won’t find a better looking app out there. It’s truly beautiful to both look at and use.
Icebergs bills itself as ‘visual organisation for creative minds’ and will draw immediate comparisons with Pintrest and Evernote because, in a way, it’s a bit of a cross between the two. It’s an incredibly flexible tool which already has a bunch of big brands using it everyday.
It’s a great cloud-based app that lets you add, organise, arrange, highlight and share creative content. It’s flexible and intuitive to use, looks great, works well and it’s another app I use every day. Another reasons Icebergs is super-cool is because it’s free.
Need inspiration fast? You need Niice. It’s a wonderful way to save time searching for images online. Type in a word and it’ll instantly pull-together related examples from all over the web. Think Google Images curated with style and pizzazz (and minus the cliché clip art).
Whether you’re looking for some top typography, examples of 50s signage or the street’s freshest graffiti, Niice will deliver wonderful examples on any theme you give it. Their tagline says it all: A search engine with taste. It’s another one that’s free so give it a shot.
If you’re freelancing you should be posting, pinning, sharing and tweeting as well. The fastest way I’ve found to do this is ‘all at once’ with a cool little app called Socialba.
These days, social media is essential to help you get your name and work out there – but it can also be time-consuming. Socialba let’s you bleat-on about whatever you want across all your social platforms at once.
As the name might suggest, Alfred is a bit like having your own personal butler to help you out. It’s an award-winning app for the Mac which allows you to search for files online or on your computer.
You can use it to quickly launch your apps and conduct super-fast web searches, too. No big deal, you might think, but it’s feature-packed and one of those apps you end up using all the time. A is for awesome as well as Alfred, so check it out.
6: Twitter Notifier
Twitter for your business is essential these days, so another great little social media app that I swear by is Twitter Notifier. It’s a Chrome Extension that sits in your toolbar and chirps up every time you get a mention or message on your Twitter profile.
It almost turns Twitter into a desktop app for your browser – stripping things back to the bear essentials – allowing you to tweet, retweet, reply and upload media without having to go through all the hassle of opening up and logging into you account.
Spreeder is not particularly sexy to look at but it’s a great way to blitz through text. It’s an online tool designed to help you speed read, and it does so by presenting chunks of text one word at a time. The thinking being, the time-consuming part of reading lies in the eye movements; jumping from one word to another and sentence to sentence.
By eliminating this (and with a bit of practise) Spreeder allows you to read at lightning speeds. I don’t use it for stuff I really have to absorb, however, for scanning less important documents and background info that clients send over, you can’t beat it. Once again, it’s free as well as fast. You just copy and paste in your text and hit the Spreed button.